UK consumer confidence slips in February

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UK consumer confidence fell by one point in February as momentum behind post-Brexit consumer spending slowed, according to GfK.

The GfK measure of consumer sentiment fell to -6 as concerns over personal finances grew. The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months decreased by four points to +3 in February, against +8 for the same period last year.

UK consumer spending has helped maintain economic growth in the two quarters since the vote to leave the European Union, despite consumer confidence tumbling in July in the wake of the vote. This may be changing as the Office of National Statistics reported retail sales were 0.2 per cent lower in January compared to December. This was below analysts’ expectations of a 0.7 per cent increase and followed a sharp dip in December.

Joe Stanton, head of marketing dynamics at GfK said:

Against a backdrop of rising food and fuel prices, sterling depreciation, nominal earnings growth and a burgeoning fear of rapid inflation, concern about our personal financial situation for 2017 has contributed to a drop in UK consumer confidence this month (to -6)… Consumer spending continues to drive economic growth in the UK so any further fall in confidence could support forecasts for a slowdown of the overall economy this year.

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